As the race for Secretary of State narrows, it appears to be down to former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. As you can guess, given their previous job titles, of course Giuliani is the favorite in the Trump camp. Of freaking course.
Giuliani was a close adviser to the Manhattan billionaire throughout his White House bid and is a vice chairman of his transition team’s executive committee. A former U.S. attorney and associate attorney general, he was previously thought to have been under consideration to lead the Department of Justice or the Department of Homeland Security.
That Giuliani could be tapped to lead the State Department was first reported by the Associated Press. Asked if the former New York City mayor would be nominated to the post, Trump’s former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway was noncommittal.
“He could be. He certainly is a very close adviser of President-elect Trump’s,” she said on NBC’s “Today.” “The mayor has an enormous skill-set, would be an excellent member of the cabinet and that’s where I’ll leave it.”
Giuliani was a faithful lieutenant of the Trump campaign, and has certainly earned some role in Trump’s government. However, he’s not exactly experienced when it comes to global matters. His experience with the world is when it came to his doorstep on September 11, 2001, and he has campaigned on that fact ever since.
Bolton, on the other hand, is the much smarter pick. From a Republican and right-leaning perspective, he’s got the foreign policy chops to handle the kind of world we’re in. But, he wasn’t in the Trump camp day in and day out, fighting the battles Giuliani was.
The Politico story referenced above does call Giuliani a narrow favorite for Secretary of State, which is a bit of good news, but it should still cause concern that the Trump camp is going to reward loyalists over the skilled, as well as the weaker, more yes-man type of advisers that Trump doesn’t really need. As I mentioned this morning, this would be the type of play pushed by Steve Bannon, who does not want stronger, more successful personalities than him in the cabinet.
Hopefully, Trump will make the smart choice here. Hopefully, he is actually going to be more presidential than his campaign might have indicated. However, I remain doubtful.